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GoDaddy Files For $100 Million IPO 110

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed dept.
mpicpp (3454017) writes with news that GoDaddy has filed to make an initial public offering "This is the second time GoDaddy has tried to go public. It went this route back in 2006, but then backed out when it didn't get the pricing it wanted." The SEC Filing indicates that they are not in the greatest financial condition. Quoting CNN: "GoDaddy hasn't made a profit since 2009. The company lost $279 million in 2012. It bled another $200 million last year. This year doesn't look much better, with another $51 million lost in the first quarter." Founder Bob Parsons, currently executive chairman, will be stepping down but remaining on the board of directors.
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GoDaddy Files For $100 Million IPO

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  • sounds dire (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:08AM (#47201721)

    An IPO that, even if successful, would cover only 6 months of their burn rate?

    • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:12AM (#47201745) Journal

      I went to godaddy.com to see what the heck they do anyway, but I just got a spam page saying godaddy.com was up for sale and did I like to buy it?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I assure you, it's a real site. You may want to check for malware. Anyways, they're a bad registrar and they supported SOPA.

        https://medium.com/cyber-security/how-i-lost-my-50-000-twitter-username-24eb09e026dd

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by kelarius (947816)

          I assure you, it's a real site. You may want to check for malware.

          WOOOOOSH

      • but... but... Dannica Patrick's TITS!
        ok, granted, those are a pretty heavily leveraged commodity, too...
        • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @08:19AM (#47202135)

          Their sleazy advertising is what caused me to actually stop recommending them to clients. I used to recommend them to clients for cheap hosting. But after they started to run ads that looked more like Hooters commercials (or ads for a strip club) than ads for a reputable hosting company, I dropped them faster than a hot potato. I'm not sure what kind of dumbass CEO thought he would attract more businesses and charities looking to set up websites by running Superbowl ads featuring half-naked women boozing it up at frat parties, but he definitely misjudged his audience.

          Even their homepage ended up being a fucking embarrassment. I've seen porn sites that were more modest.

          • The initial ads were run the year after the Janet Jackson incident and I thought were quite funny. The problem is that they didn't have the sense to stop when the joke ran it's course.

            There choice in representatives did not impress me either. Dannica Patrick was given the best cars and the best pit crews and seemed to consistently underperform.
            Sort of a racing version of Carly FIorina.

          • by kurkosdr (2378710) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @11:08AM (#47203661)
            GoDaddy: A cybersquatter masquerading as a registrar. If you forgot to pay the bill, they 'll take down your site and will fill up your domain with ads. And god forbid you actually break their TOS. They 'll take your domain and put ads, you won't be able to take it back, and they wom't even tell you which parts of the TOS you supposedly broke. There was a site "nodaddy" detailing those things.
            • by qubezz (520511)
              And these scumbags even register and hold for ransom domain names put into their domain search tool. That's right - search to see if a domain is available using the Godaddy site, and it will be registered by Godady themselves or "partners", and sold off to the highest bidder, or suddenly have a $500 asking price. http://www.billhartzer.com/pag... [billhartzer.com]
              • by hawk (1151)

                Why do you think I have dochawk.org, rather than dochawk.com?

                I checked for dochawk.com. Available. Went to register the next day, and gone. Scratched my head.

                Then I checked dochawk.net. Waffled a day, and it was gone.

                So I just registered dochawk.org.

                And then the bit elsewhere where they double-billed and held data hostge . . .

                hawk

            • by mattack2 (1165421)

              So what is a better registrar? Seriously.

              I haven't had any domain names yet, but the current owner of one will transfer it to me. Basically, I need very little in terms of services.. I'm not intending on running a web site there, just some mailboxes (and hopefully a way to send all other email to that domain in another bucket).

            • by hawk (1151)

              Don't forget double-billing your account each month, which triggers your credit card company to auto-cancel the fraudulent, err, second charge, and using *that* to cancel you for non-payment, while continuing to charge you each month, and demanding either a year's service contract or $100 to recover your backup . . .

              not that they pulled that on me . . .

              hawk

          • Isn't it odd to see Puritanism resurface? We're supposed to be so open-minded and accepting...and yet people are OUTRAGED that sex sells. We just need to go hunt some witches next.
            • by NotDrWho (3543773)

              I'm perfectly fine with sex. What I'm not perfectly fine with is recommending a host to a serious business client or charity only to have them call me back and ask me why I sent them to some sort of porn site.

          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            I can't believe I'm kind of defending them... but if it sells cars and hamburgers and everything else, why don't you think it would sell domain registration services?

            • by NotDrWho (3543773)

              Because their target audiences are presumably small businesses, non-profits, and charities wanting to build small websites--not drunk teenagers. So yeah, if I were selling fast food, a sports betting site, a new sports car, a dick-lengthening pill, etc.; then having 20-year-olds in bikinis in my commercials might be perfectly understandable. But it's a pretty piss-poor way of saying "Hey, we're a great place to host the website for your church!"

    • An IPO that, even if successful, would cover only 6 months of their burn rate?

      It's not enough; but they don't really bring much to the table. Their products and services are all in heavily commodified areas (ooh, a domain registrar!) and they...don't exactly trade on a premium reputation...

      Honestly, 100 million seems like a pretty generous valuation for a commodity dealer, with comparatively minimal differentiation or brand loyalty, probably not many assets to sell off, and a more or less drop-in replacement by any of their numerous competitors.

      • The sad thing is, they used to be decent. Good Service at affordable pricing for domains. They tried to expand into other areas that others were better at, and they basically sucked at it. They stopped being what made them successful in the first place. This is why they are bleeding money fast.

        And the people that started the downward curve were paid stupid huge bonuses, and now are suffering from long term shortsightedness.

    • by plopez (54068)

      If it pops it is just more evidence of another tech bubble.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        GoDaddy failing would not be evidence of a tech bubble, only a horribly-run company.

        There's plenty of other inexpensive web hosts out there that are doing just fine.

        • by plopez (54068)

          Sorry should clarify, 'pop' is Wall Street speak for a large run up of stock price for an IPO. For example if an IPO at $20/share starts selling at $30/share, that would be considered a large 'pop'. It means investors see huge potential in the stock even if the company has no profit. A large pop may be signs of rampant speculation aka a bubble.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They always say you should buy low and sell high, but I think you'd have to be high to buy GoDaddy.

  • I don't know if I'd feel comfortable buying them at this point.

    • by kelarius (947816)
      If it wasn't such an obvious move you could short them
  • Another bubble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:12AM (#47201743)
    This is going to make top Go Daddy execs millionaires, and every other stockholder gets screwed after the execs flip and the stock tumbles down in the months following said IPO.

    Protip: NEVER enter an IPO, no matter how awesome you think the company is. Wait and see how the stock performs over an extended period.
    • Re:Another bubble (Score:5, Informative)

      by tomhath (637240) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:16AM (#47201759)
      I have to agree with you on both points. Although it's more likely the venture capitalists who are trying to get out of the sinking boat at this point.
      • I don't think so – or at least in the short run. Reading the prospectus it looks like all of the funds are going towards the company – no investor is cashing out. You might see some 144a sales occurring down the road but IIRC current holders will have to wait at least 6 months to do so and only for a small percentage of the free float out there. (If they want to float more they would have another offering.)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nah... For example, it's a good to enter an IPO for a company which produces generational technology on a cycle. I talked my father into entering nvidia's IPO when I was 20. This was right after they had spent a couple of years clawing up to the top of the pile to lay the smack on 3dfx voodoo technology with the Riva TNT2. 3dfx was pretty clearly stagnated. Matrox was trapped by their 2d brilliance, and ATI was only just beginning to break their habit of producing garbage. If you followed the industry

  • Not profitable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjbe (173966) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:15AM (#47201757)

    The SEC Filing indicates that they are not in the greatest financial condition.

    Shocking. They sell an aggressively priced commodity product and spend a ton on stupid sexist advertising to people who aren't their customers. Their customer service sucks and their website (last I checked) is a hot mess. While I haven't read their prospectus I don't really see them ever being more than modestly profitable at best. They seem to be taking an Amazon business model - growing now and worrying about profits down the road. But unlike Amazon the economic barriers to competition are quite a bit lower.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I agree except that you left out one minor point. They do not actually offer any product other than serving web pages on an emasculated platform.

      They do have one thing going for them. If they go belly up then the number of "websites" being served by MS server software will plummet precipitously. I suspect some folks in Redmond are looking at this and doing some back of the envelope calculations to figure out how much it is worth in advertising to be able to say they serve more "websites" than apache.

    • It doesn't help that Amazon (while their margins are pitiful) has a pretty good reputation(and, since they sell stuff that everybody and your grandparents buy, rather than semi-specialized tech services, good reputation probably helps every purchase a bit) and an excellent reputation for efficiency.

      It would be interesting to see what happens if they did try to turn the screws a bit and generate some real profit; but it's hard to argue that they are anything but good at what they do. GoDaddy? Cheap; but a
    • Re:Not profitable (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @08:12AM (#47202075) Homepage

      Their customer service sucks and their website (last I checked) is a hot mess.

      Slashdot moderation needs an Understatement rating. GoDaddy is to domain registrars what Comcast is to the cable industry.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Not really. In most areas that Comcast serves, they're basically a monopoly and charge the prices that one would expect of a monopoly. GoDaddy on the other hand isn't a monopoly, but instead sells a commodity product at rock bottom prices. Probably too low to generate a profit. The only reason most people go with them is because of their low prices and aggressive marketing which usually means that people who don't know much about hosting services except that they need hosting services come upon Go Daddy as
        • Re:Not profitable (Score:4, Interesting)

          by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @09:13AM (#47202579) Journal

          And they use it for a few months before realizing it is terrible and dumping it. Been there, done that.

          With GoDaddy, my static content was hosted on the same server as a bunch of @&^#@&$ WordPress and PHPBB instances, and every time somebody searched on those sites, it tied up a slot on the server for an extended period of time. Run enough of them in parallel, and suddenly you have 15+ second latency between when the connection is established and when the server begins serving data.

          I pointed out the problem, providing detailed time stamps for dozens of such insane periods of poor performance over the course of one or two days. They said they couldn't find anything wrong. Then, I asked them to move me to a different server that had mostly static content and no scripts, but they said no, and I said, "Bye."

          Of course, to be brutally honest, I was considering leaving before I even finished pushing the content *to* GoDaddy's servers. That hellish experience was caused entirely by GoDaddy's utterly incompetent system administration practices. Instead of setting up one server for shell access and a separate server to serve the actual content, as far as I can tell, they used a single server for both tasks. To prevent users from abusing CPU resources, they set a time limit on processes. That sort of policy makes sense on a web server, but on a shell server, it makes uploading your web tree almost impossible. I couldn't use rsync because it wouldn't begin sending data before the timeout, and I couldn't use tar because it can't be resumed. I couldn't use scp because there were single files that took longer to upload over my slow DSL connection than the (IIRC 30 second) timeout. I can't remember how I ended up solving the problem, but I think it involved using rsync on a single file at a time. (No, I will not use FTP....)

          But even that wasn't enough hell for GoDaddy. No, they also decided to prevent people from abusing the server by connecting to it too many times in a short period of time, so whenever I uploaded short files, I would exceed that threshold and it would refuse the connection. And as long as I continued to try to connect, it would never succeed. So to get my files uploaded to the server, I had to write an unholy script that alternated between multiple source IP addresses, copying files one at a time using rsync over ssh.

          Unfortunately, this level of incompetence seems to be typical of GoDaddy from all indications. You'd have to be nuts to buy stock in this company. Their entire business model depends on a steady stream of suckers, and there are enough sites out there with similar prices and better ratings, so that stream is drying up. Unless they can hire some competent customer support people and competent IT people, they have nowhere to go from here but down the drain.

      • I sense a meme...

          GoDaddy is to domain registrars what RyanAir is to the low-cost airline industry.

    • Unfortunately a lot of their competition is pulling a Gnome3 and messing up their sites. Moniker is imploding as we speak, and Namecheap added enough Javascript-for-Javascript's-sake to give Godaddy a wet dream. Incremental development was supposed to generate highly-usable sites because common sense was supposed to be injected by the consumer of the site along the way. But it seems like the exact opposite has happened. "Hot messes" are everywhere.

      I honestly think the employment pool for web developers

  • How (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:18AM (#47201765)

    How the fuck do you blow $200+ million a year being a registrar? Where does the money go? It can't possibly cost that much unless they are doing something very, very wrong. Where is the cash going?

    SOPA support?

    • by sjbe (173966) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:39AM (#47201861)

      How the fuck do you blow $200+ million a year being a registrar?

      By buying pointless Super Bowl ads and selling your product for less than it actually costs to provide. It's not hard to lose a lot of money really fast if you sell a commodity product people want for less than it actually costs to provide it. I had a teacher once point out how easy it is to generate sales. Just sell a $2 bill for $1. You'll have all the revenue you can handle but you'll be out of business faster than you can say "Chapter 7 bankruptcy".

      Where does the money go?

      Go dig up the prospectus and it will tell you. I can't be bothered but my guess would be some combination of advertising, infrastructure and management compensation. Possibly debt service too if they went that route.

      • By buying pointless Super Bowl ads and selling your product for less than it actually costs to provide.

        Their rates for renewals are pretty high compared to the competition, so unless all registrars are unprofitable, I would think otherwise. 200 million sounds like executive pay run amok.
        • by dgatwood (11270)

          I suspect the GP meant their bottom-of-the-barrel hosting service, not their domain renewals.

        • Their rates for renewals are pretty high compared to the competition, so unless all registrars are unprofitable, I would think otherwise. 200 million sounds like executive pay run amok.

          Unlikely but you can check the prospectus to find out. That sort of thing is required to be detailed in the prospectus for any IPO. I'm sure executive pay is a piece of it but it's unlikely to be the majority.

      • They are not "blow[ing] $200+ million a year being a registrar?"

        They lost (revenue – expenses) 130m in 2013.

        Of that, about 100m is amortizing goodwill, a nonrecurring noncash expense. This depreciation only has a minor effect on the cash returned to the shareholders and that effect is a good one because it lowers the corporate taxes they pay.

        Not saying it is meaningless. Just you can't count it towards the cash "burn rate" of a company.

        • You cannot claim your own assets as goodwill. Only acquired assets can be claimed as goodwill, and not more than the amount the assets fall short than the purchase price. Which means, they bought into some pretty lousy deal in the past. And they are amortizing their past sins.

          • Maybe. Stuff like this takes a lot of digging into. Economic profit is different from accounting profit in the short run. I know a chunk of the good will was along the line of acquiring clients. i.e. they bought another firm for their clients. That gets amortized over 3 years. How long does a client last? If it takes 5 years to break even on the acquisition costs and the client last 10 then it is a good deal.

            I will point out that Go Daddy was a partnership where losses flow back to the owners and can be use

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Thanshin (1188877)

      How the fuck do you blow $200+ million a year being a registrar?

      $20M CEO.
      $15M CFO.
      $15M CIO. ...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        from their filing: Base salary for top 5 CxO combined:$2m. Options are another $10m. So, it looks like operational expenses are killing them.

        • They have got $133M in cash and equivalents. And a $1.5B in debt. Basically the company is chewing down its own rear. KKR, Silverlake, Tech Crossover have 68.5% stake in the company. The CxO's are having a good time. $12M per year for CxO's is a great deal for a bunch of morons. So the IPO is a nice way to try to extend the party the morons are enjoying before they float their resumes and land at another party.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        From their S1(http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1609711/000119312514230425/d728713ds1.htm):

        Name Title Salary
        Blake J. Irving CEO $934,615
        Scott W. Wagner CFO $441,346
        Philip H. Biener EVP $308,077
        James M. Carroll EVP $350,000
        Elissa E. Murphy CTO $255,231

        Their salaries are not out of line for a company that had nearly $1.4 billion in revenue last year.

        This is another example of the typical of the poor moderation here. That bold-face lie was moderated to a +3.

        More text below her

        • But the question is, do they deserve that kind of salaries for people who are unable to run the company into profitability? Plus the $10M in stock options.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Not just a registrar, but hosting services. Still hard to imagine being $200 million in the red. Although they are one of the lower tier providers, so I can see how trying to push for the absolute lowest prices have pushed them into the point of being completely unprofitable. When they are charging less than half of what good web hosts are charging, they've either found some efficiencies that others haven't, or they're selling a product at below cost.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It costs a lot to have half naked girls dancing in your ads. And also shooting endangered species costs a lot too.

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:18AM (#47201767)

    GoDaddy should stick to their core competency of strippers, pole dancing and parties(*) rather than this internet thing.

    * Well thats the impression I get from their ads.

    • I have the hunch that this impression is pretty accurate... I dunno what they're actually doing, but they should dump that internet branch and instead concentrate on what they actually CAN do.

      Whatever that may be.

    • If the only place i could get 'x' was from godaddy, i would not use 'x'.

      Any investor who think television advertising = a business without competition clearly is stupid,

  • Founder Bob Parsons, currently executive chairman, will be stepping down but remaining on the board of directors.

    Well, there's your problem. Until Parsons is well and truly out of the business, I can't imagine there's going to be any serious turnaround.

  • by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:32AM (#47201827) Journal

    They should fire all their marketing executives and build a simple website, and try online marketing instead. They can employ tools like, you knoe, Search Engine Optimisation, Website building tools etc. etc.

    Whenever I look at the ugly girls dancing in the GoDaddy ads I can see where they keep losing more and more millions.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Whenever I look at the ugly girls dancing in the GoDaddy ads I can see where they keep losing more and more millions.

      Sorry, not everyone can look as good as your mom :)

  • by upuv (1201447) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:44AM (#47201891) Journal

    This company has been a lowbrow bottom feeder since the beginning.

    At first glance the pricing looks OK. But soon you realize you are fenced in. You find out your domain is held hostage by lack of features. Features that are ransomed off.

    Buying Go-Daddy is purely a speculative exercise that is not backed by history or sane projections.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @08:27AM (#47202205) Homepage

    Surely once they are publicly traded, their days of being ethical and not evil will be at an end.

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @08:37AM (#47202277) Journal

    Gee, I wonder what could have effected their profitablity since that year.....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]

  • the stock has potential to be profitable. Wait for the IPO excitement to wane and the stock to crash. Then, and the timing is critical here, buy a big chunk when the price is really low. When the inevitable occurs, and the new management team comes on board, the stock will begin to rise and ... Profit!
  • I'll buy THAT for a dollar!
    • by Mondor (704672)

      At first I thought to out-bid you. But then the common sense prevailed, so I pass.

  • Personally I avoid using Godaddy unless there is one of those sales where they are selling domain registration or transfers at below cost.

    I have registered a fair number of domains with them at the $1 to $5 price points you can sometimes get and when a decent coupon for transfer comes up from someone better like Namecheap I transfer them away. Godaddy looses money on the deal. I might transfer those domains back into godaddy on another below cost transfer deal but I just transfer it back out aga
  • When it came out that they were supporting SOPA I pulled my domains and moved them to Namecheap. One of the best things I ever did.

    As part of the process they put a lock on a couple of my domains for some reason. They claimed it was because I changed some account information, which I didn't.

    When that happened I complained to the AG in the state they are incorporated in. When that hit the fan some VP called me personally to expedite the transfer. So basically you can put some leverage on them through the AG.

  • Maaaaaaaaybe they should change their corporate image from "trashy and unprofessional sexist pigs and perverts" to something that, oh I don't know, maybe business might find attractive. You know, businesses...the people that buy things from them. They're not selling Mountain Dew and tacos, they're selling professional IT services!

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